Hong Kong Investment Firm To Open Custody Service
The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based news source for English readers, recently revealed that a Hong Kong-based firm will be opening up a crypto-custody service in the near future.
According to the aforementioned news source, Funsang Investment Office, which is an asset management firm, has been receiving mounting interest about cryptocurrencies from its vast array of high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients.
This interest has prompted the management firm to begin discussing plans for a custody service, which Fusang’s CEO expects to open it in the fourth quarter of this year.
Henry Chong, the Chief Executive Officer of the firm, elaborated on the plans for service, stating that “Fusang Vault,” as the project is now called, will hold crypto assets for clients, while also auditing the funds on a periodic basis.
Chong went on to talk about why a service like Fusang Vault is needed, drawing connections between financial bonds and cryptos, further noting that crypto assets lack ownership data, unlike something like a land deed. He stated:
“Digital assets are akin to bearer bonds, whereby whoever that is holding the security is presumed to be the owner and there is no registration of ownership information of the security. Hence, the way we keep digital asset [sic] secured is of paramount importance.”
The CEO also pointed out that his firm is currently working with insurers, attempting to work out a system where client’s crypto assets can be covered under new insurance policies.
Growing Need For Institutional Investor Services, Especially in Asia
Institutional investment and interest have long been held as the holy grail of cryptocurrencies, with many expecting that an influx of institutional capital will bring this industry to the mainstream.
However, this industry currently doesn’t have the proper infrastructure to host many institutional clients. Additionally, the current state of the market encourages speculative behaviors, with a majority of retail investors looking to make a quick buck. Institutional investors, like the many notable Wall Street investment firms, have seen that, and have mostly shied away from opening their wallets for the industry.
But institutional sentiment regarding this market is quickly changing, with firms like Coinbase, Blockchain, and Circle all opening up services aimed at attracting investors from legacy markets. These services have already been met with success, despite their youth, with Coinbase Custody already reporting millions under management and Circle seeing billions in trade volume each and every month.
But as pointed out by Blockchain CEO Peter Smith, a majority of institutional clients are currently based in the U.S. and Western Europe, essentially leaving out the Asian market.
Despite being seen as the home of cryptocurrencies, institutional firms based in Asia have hesitated to invest into the cryptocurrency industry. This is why a service like Fusang Vault is important, opening up the industry to an array of new investors and institutional capital.